South Yorkshire carer praised for tracking down autistic girl's beloved lost toy

Katie Elliott and Sam Deakin with the toy.
Katie Elliott and Sam Deakin with the toy.
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A carer turned detective has been praised for tracking down an autistic girl's beloved lost toy.

Katie Elliott went on a shopping trip with her carer Becky Horbury in Meadowhall yesterday morning and brought along her trusty My Little Pony toy 'Twilight Sparkle' who is always by her side.

But the 18-year-old was horrified when she realised the companion was no longer under her arm. Katie and Becky frantically retraced their steps in the huge shopping centre but the toy could not be found.

Meanwhile, her mum Donna Elliott posted an appeal on Facebook which went viral and was shared over 100 times. But as the hours ticked by, there was still no sign of it.

Then carer Sam Deakin, who looks after Katie's twin brother Jack who also has autism, saved the day by returning to Meadowhall last night.

After calling in several shops to review CCTV footage, he discovered the toy had been handed in behind the counter at Poundland and Katie was reunited with it shortly after.

Mum Donna, aged 39, of Athersley in Barnsley, said: "She was really, really upset when she lost it. She takes it everywhere with her.

"Autism is a complex condition and Katie prefers to live a lot of the time in a world of unicorns and dragons - so the toy was very important to her.

"She was overjoyed when she got it back. The staff at Meadowhall were really great, so helpful.

"And Sam is an absolute star."